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How to Know If You Need More Carbs In Your Diet

miniflex May 10, 2022

How do you know if you need more carbs in your diet? There are a few common signs and symptoms that can tell us if you need to incorporate more carbs into your life. Let's talk about a few of those.

Signs That You Need More Carbs

1. Anxiety and Restlessness

One of the first common signs that I've seen is someone who has little bit more anxiety and is feeling restlessness. There's something called wired and tired. If you're having a hard time winding down at night, that can be a sign that you need to increase your carbs, especially if you've been following the lower carb or ketogenic diet. The reason for this is that carbs can help us regulate serotonin levels. If we're wired and tired at night, that could mean that our serotonin is a little bit lower.

2. Long-Term Low-Carb Diet

Following a lower carb or keto diet for a long time can be a sign that you need to bring carbs back into your life. You can do this in a strategic way by adding them more at night or throughout the day.

3. Menstrual Cycle Irregularities

Another sign that you might need to increase your carbs is if you're having menstrual cycle irregularities or an absence in your menstrual cycle. If you're having increased PMS symptoms that don't seem to be going away (increased hunger and irritability), that might be a sign you might need to start bringing carbs back in.

You can do this in several different ways. It's very individual to the person, but you can start adding carbs right before your period to test it out. Especially if you are someone who is suffering from some of those increased PMS symptoms, adding carbs back in around that time can be a good strategy. 

4. Unsatisfied With Food

Another sign that you might need to bring carbs back in is being unsatisfied with the foods that you're eating. If you've been eating higher fat for a while, and you haven't been eating any carbs, those fats may eventually become undesirable. That's one of the things that I've seen on the emotional side of following the lower carb keto diet for a while is that we tend to have a little bit of carb phobia.

And I went through this myself.

You don't want to be afraid to eat a sweet potato or afraid to eat a piece of fruit—those are whole foods with tons of nutrients. If you are fearing those types of foods, that is probably a sign that you might need to bring carbs back in and see how you deal with them.

5. Decreased Performance

Another sign that you might want to increase your carbs is if you are training and seeing a decreased performance. Whether it's a lifting protocol or a specific program, you should be making progress and not hitting a wall. A lack of carbs might mean you don't have the energy to do your best at workouts, and they could also be hurting your post-workout recovery if you don't have enough.

If you have a decline in your performance with whatever you're doing, and you've noticed that for a period of time, add carbs back in strategically. If you find that that helps you to increase your performance, then that is a sign that you need to bring a little bit more carbs back into your life.

6. Goal Shift

Last but not least another sign that you know may tell you if you need more carbs is just thinking about your overall goals. If you initially started a lower carb or ketogenic diet with the goal of weight loss in mind, are your goals still the same? That might be a sign that you don't need to be strict keto or low carb anymore. Maybe you can actually use these carbs to help.

Want to learn more about weightlifting on a keto diet and how to use carbs properly? Check out our blog and podcast for more information on the topics.

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